Lucy’s experience at the Animal Rescue project in IndiaVolunteer Experiences / 10 April 2018
The Animal Rescue project is on the outskirts of the stunning city of Udaipur. Providing treatment and sanctuary to terminally ill animals, including dogs, cows, donkeys, pigs, cats, tortoises, goats, birds and other animals in need of care. The founders of the project in 2002 were motivated to rescue and treat the high level of animals injured on the streets of Udaipur. The need being so great that the centre has expanded over the years, to meet the ever increasing number of calls from the city’s residents discovering animals requiring treatment - the team treated more than 3,500 animals last year!
Lucy from the Pod Volunteer team was lucky enough to visit the project and shares her experience of a typical day at the Animal Rescue project .You can also read more about her experiences at the Child Care and Community Education projects.
The centre is a short drive from the volunteer accommodation, on arrival I joined the volunteers in playing with and petting handicapped dogs. The dogs particularly love being scratched behind the ear where they can’t reach themselves! Many of these dogs are blind and find the volunteers’ presence to be comforting as they bask in the sun. We also assisted paralysed dogs resident at the centre to go for a run, with the aid of wheels attached to their legs – it was great to see them racing each other, and enjoying the freedom to move.
We moved on to bottle-feeding milk to the newly arrived calves at the centre. The younger calves requiring 6 bottles a day is no small task for the team and the additional support of volunteers is really valued. The challenge is persuading the younger ones to take the bottle but I found patience and persistence pays off!
As the midday heat started to take its hold, we moved onto the hydrotherapy pool – a cooling and refreshing reward for both the dogs and volunteers! This gives dogs who are paralysed in their legs the opportunity to build strength in their muscles whilst doing laps of the pool guided by the volunteers. After swimming a lap aided we encouraged them to increasingly swim solo - relying on their legs and life jackets to keep them afloat.
Following a delicious packed lunch made by team member Neha, we moved to the kennels at the other side of the centre to attend the newly rescued dogs. This involved taking them for walks and introducing them to their new surroundings. This process starts by petting them in their initial kennel, before slowly introducing them to a lead. Once they are ready for re-homing with established residents at the sanctuary they are slowly introduced to their new enclosure by volunteers for short periods to ease them through their transition.
Our final task was to visit the puppy section where there were some adorable new arrivals! They were so small, having been separated from their mothers at birth but with boundless energy for play –they really kept us on our toes!
It was a really inspiring day being at the forefront of animal rescue and support. The centre is the largest of its kind in Rajasthan and with the team being so incredibly dedicated to animal welfare and care, I can’t wait to return to the project!
If you would like to make a difference to the lives of these animals, you can find out more on how you can get involved here.
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